Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Scientific proof (Score 5, Funny) 126

There is an old example of how scientific proof can be obtained for the conclusion that you actually want.

A scientist puts a flea on the table and shouts at it:


And the flea jumps.
Then the scientist carefully cuts off the flea's legs, puts it back on the table and shouts:


And the flea does not jump.
After this, the scientist happily writes down on his notebook:

"After it lost its legs, the flea cannot hear anymore."

Comment Getting close to design sensitivity (Score 1) 220

Every time they get closer to the design sensitivity the detector can spot signals coming from farther away, as the wave amplitude follows the inverse square law.

This increase in range will result in a great increase in the _volume_ they can observe, and remember that these detectors do not need to be pointed they way telescopes do.

The project can clearly follow the Type 1a supernova project (which brought the Nobel Prize to Saul Perlmutter) and go from detecting one signal every few months to detecting a few signals per day.

Comment Back in fashion ? (Score 1) 147

I remember back in the early and mid-90's the idea was to include micron-size vacuum tubes in integrated circuits in order to cut down the reverse-current to a level that semiconductor diodes could not do it.

Those tubes were functionally only diodes and the idea was to use the strong electric field at the tip of a very small cone to achieve cold electron emission. Imagine hollowing out a half-sphere and then add a cone with the tip at the center of the sphere. Now apply a voltage between the two. The electric field is very strong at the tip of the cone, but much weaker at the interior surface of the sphere. This results in cold electron emission from the tip of the cone and a current when the voltage is applied one way, but no current when the voltage is applied the other way.

I have never seen these used in practice. I believe one reason is that such a component had to be at least a couple of microns across, and the chips had little use for a 2000 nm diode.

Anyway, such vacuum tubes could have some use in parts where zero reverse current is important, but due to size limitation don't expect to see them replacing transistors that are counted in the billions in modern chips.

Comment What you are forgetting is ... (Score 1) 1023

... regulation. Just because you can build a fully automated restaurant, it does not mean that you'll be allowed to operate it.

McDonalds is large enough to lobby for laws that will make such an idea non-marketable.

Just like the municipality-run ISPs, which have been feasible for more than a decade now, but are illegal due to lobbying of the big ISPs.

Comment Reassuring (Score 1) 130

I'm glad to know that given all the cuts on the police force that Osborne is talking about, the humming a tune in the shower police unit remains well-staffed. Right along the lines of the "Big Society" trumpeted by Cameron.

After all, who cares about assault, burglary, etc ? Good luck having the police respond to a call reporting assault. Good citizens should band together and defend against those, the police is too busy with much more serious crimes. Like not paying for the right to hum a tune in the shower.

Slashdot Top Deals

As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie